Photo: Davy Jones Locker Room
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman wrote in Friday’s 32 Thoughts that Seattle Kraken right-wing Calle Jarnkrok could be a “possibility” for the Washington Capitals to acquire by the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline on March 21 at 3 PM ET.
The 30-year-old, who can play center, has 10 goals and 21 points in 41 games this season and 104 goals and 231 points in 548 career regular-season games with the Kraken and Nashville Predators. The Kraken claimed him in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft.
Before this season, Jarnkrok, who carries a team-friendly $2 million cap hit for the rest of this season and is 30-years-old, reached the double-digit-goal plateau in each of the past six seasons (hitting 15 in four of them) and 30-point plateau four times over that span with the Predators.
He hails from Gavle, Sweden, Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom’s hometown.
While Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Lars Eller, and Nic Dowd make up one of the league’s best center quartets, each one has missed time this season due to COVID-19 and injury. Prospects such as Connor McMichael and Aliaksei Protas have performed well in their rookie seasons, but the Capitals may prefer them on the wing where there is less pressure to be as stout defensively. Backstrom and Kuznetsov both missed time during the last two Stanley Cup Playoff tournaments (and Backstrom played through a hip injury in 2021), where the Capitals have gone 2-8.
In addition, top-six forwards Anthony Mantha and T.J. Oshie have missed 43 and 34 games, respectively, this season. Mantha has not taken contact since returning to Capitals’ practice earlier this week and does not have a set timeline while Oshie returned from a 14-game absence (upper-body injury) in the Capitals’ 4-1 loss to the New York Rangers on Thursday.
The Capitals currently have $1,913,334 in NHL salary cap space with Mantha on long-term injured reserve, so the Kraken may have to retain a little salary if the Capitals want to acquire Jarnkrok without giving up a player currently on the roster.
By Harrison Brown